Monday, July 11, 2011

Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Fennel, Fresh Ricotta, and Prosciutto

When I'm in the mood for homemade pizza, sometimes I want something traditional like pepperoni, and other times I want to make something with more interesting toppings.  This pizza was the result of the latter sort of evening.  After going through all the different pizza recipes I had bookmarked (or at least many of them!), I ended up combining a couple of recipes for toppings with some whole wheat dough I had stashed away in the fridge.  I topped the pizza with a little olive oil, some caramlelized onions and fennel, homemade ricotta (so easy to make and so delicious!), and a layer of prosciutto.  The result was a great combination of sweetness from the caramelized veggies; rich, soft cheese; saltiness from the prosciutto; a bit of spice from some roasted red pepper flakes; and lemon juice for a hit of acid.  A perfect pizza!  If you haven't made homemade cheese before, I definitely recommend this recipe for ricotta - it's very little effort for a rich, pillow-y, fresh cheese that definitely "made" this pizza!

Pizza with Caramelized Onions and Fennel, Fresh Ricotta, and Prosciutto (adapted from Smitten Kitchen and Love and Olive Oil)
Makes 1 pizza

Pizza dough for one pizza crust (I used a whole wheat dough based on the master recipe in Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day)

One batch homemade ricotta cheese

Olive oil
1 medium onion, thinly sliced
1 medium fennel bulb, cored and thinly sliced
Salt and Pepper
Thinly sliced prosciutto
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 Meyer lemon

1. Shape the pizza dough into a ball and set out at room temperature for its final rise.
2. Make the ricotta cheese and set aside to drain while you prepare the rest of the recipe.
3. Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat in a medium skillet, and then add the onion and fennel along with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook over medium-low heat, stirring often, until nicely browned and caramelized, 15-20 minutes.
4. Preheat the oven to 500 degrees.
5. Shape the pizza dough into your preferred shape on a peel or pizza pan.  If it's thick, pre-bake in the oven for a few minutes (not needed for thinner crusts).
6. Brush the crust with olive oil, and then top with the caramelizes onion and fennel.  Dot with ricotta cheese, and sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.  Finally, layer on the prosciutto in one layer.  Bake the pie until the crust is cooked through and the toppings are hot.
7. Cut the lemon in half and squeeze lemon juice all over the pizza.
8. Serve while hot!


  1. oh yum, love your choices here

  2. Yum! Though I'm not a fan of fennel, this pizza looks delicious!